The James Webb was built by the space agencies of Europe (ESA), the United States (NASA) and Canada (CSA). From the Netherlands, Leiden University, TNO research institute and NOVA-OIR scientific office are involved in the $ 8 billion project.
A billion years ago
The space telescope is the size of a tennis court and had to be bent to fit into the loading pod of the Ariane 5 rocket. Three minutes after launch, the capsule was jettisoned and after 27 minutes the telescope was released. been released. The James Webb will slowly deploy throughout its journey.
You can see how the telescope will study the universe in the video below:
The James Webb can see a billion years beyond Hubble. Among other things, he must search for planets where life is possible, distant galaxies and traces of the Big Bang. It must remain in service for at least ten years.
Hubble will burn
“Webb’s promise is not to find out what we expect, but to make discoveries about the universe that we cannot even imagine,” said Bill Nelson, director of NASA, after the launch. “I can’t wait to see what he’ll highlight.”
The Dutchman Maurice te Plate collaborated on the gigantic project. “It’s a crazy idea that it’s really here now, but it’s definitely good that it’s finally happening,” he said. “We have worked so hard, invested so much energy. And now I want to see what he can do, what he is going to show us all.”
The predecessor Hubble was launched in 1990 and has since revolved around the Earth at an altitude of over 500 kilometers. After more than thirty years, the Hubble is at the end of its life. Recently, the telescope has been regularly shut down due to technical issues. Over the next ten years, Hubble will come out of orbit. Then it burns in the atmosphere.
The James Webb is expected to arrive at his workplace in about a month. The first images and data are expected in summer 2022.
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